LEEDS, DEFRANCESCO STRIKE ON DAY 2 OF BRITISH F4 AT CROFT


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The young Australian Leeds (#26) showed his Red Bull backing was justified – Photo: Jakob Ebrey

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford title battle rolled onto Croft circuit in North Yorkshire and an array of motorsport’s brightest single-seater talents provided yet another fantastic spectacle for fans.

Luis Leeds was calm and composed out front to take a brilliant win for TRS Arden in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. His second of the season and a huge shot in the arm for the Red Bull Junior driver’s title hopes. He took the chequered flag from this weekend’s form man Zane Goddard. Max Fewtrell crossed the line third, putting in yet another assured performance for Carlin to retake the lead in the standings.

There were fireworks on the opening lap. In a rare occurrence this season, customary fast starter Jamie Caroline struggled off the line from pole, whilst Devlin DeFrancesco flew from second.

Caroline kept DeFrancesco on his outside into turn one, but the Canadian bravely hung on to emerge out of Clervaux in the lead. It all ended in tears though as Caroline dived down the inside of DeFrancesco at Sunny – the two drivers colliding.
There was more contact further down the order as Alex Quinn and Frank Bird came together. It brought an unfortunate end to both of their races.

The safety car was swiftly deployed following the opening lap incidents and it was Luis Leeds who found himself at the front of the pack.

After several laps behind the safety car the Ford EcoBoost stars were unleased and as the race progressed Leeds came under pressure for compatriot Goddard, who pumped in a series of fastest laps on the hunt for his second win. Leeds was having none of it though. He responded brilliantly as Goddard upped the ante, able to match his pace and control the remainder of the race.

In Round 15, Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco stormed his way to the third British F4 victory of his career courtesy of a jaw-dropping move around the outside of Zane Goddard at Sunny on the opening lap. With a clear track ahead of him DeFrancesco pulled away from the field. The Canadian never put a foot wrong with an inch-perfect drive to the chequered flag; despite the inclement weather which had set in over the 2.125-mile North Yorkshire circuit.

Said the three-time race winner DeFrancesco: “In race two we were incredibly unlucky, but we came back strong in race three. I thought the start was going to be the key to everything and Zane made a really good start.

“I felt I had a lot of grip under me and a lot of confidence in the car. I braked a little later than I normally would into the corner and Zane braked a little earlier so happy days.

“Then I just kept focusing on myself and my inputs every lap, getting the gears right and going quicker and quicker.”

Although he lost the lead on the first lap, Double R’s Zane Goddard was still ecstatic after the race. Another second place to his name and yet another fastest lap. Goddard leaves Croft having scored more points than any other driver this weekend; the Australian clearly building upon his prodigious testing form at the circuit.

Alex Battipaglia